"The Dumbest Dealer in the West" -or "How *not* to sell a Cadillac"

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Cadillac XTS Forum Discussion, "The Dumbest Dealer in the West" -or "How *not* to sell a Cadillac" in Current Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hi Gang, Ok, so I have been batting this around in my head like a BB in a tuna fish ...
  1. #1
    BlackPlatinumV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    "The Dumbest Dealer in the West" -or "How *not* to sell a Cadillac"

    Hi Gang,

    Ok, so I have been batting this around in my head like a BB in a tuna fish can and am trying to figure out how to approach an issue with my local Cadillac dealer (or whether I even should do so).

    You see, I have a history with GM spanning seven of their brands and dozens of their new cars over the years...I like the GM brands for the most part. We have had sports cars, performance pony cars, zippy sedans, SUVs, pick-ups of every kind, etc.

    I started out with GMC mini trucks and Pontiac...well pretty much everything from Pontiac. To be honest, Pontiac was *my* brand...always edgy, technical, and progressive. GM did a hurtful thing to me when they killed the Pontiac brand. Moving on...

    We liked Oldsmobiles...exit Oldsmobile.

    We got an H2 and LOVED it...exit Hummer (actually that one I sort of get with fuel prices and all).

    We liked GMC's SUV and truck series, but live a little "smaller" space-wise these days and full size doesn't cut it....exit the small truck lines from GMC *and* Chevrolet.

    While my wife enjoys her new Buick it is just *not* what I look for in a car style-wise. It is a great car...it's just not me.

    I tried two Chevrolets, the latest a loaded Traverse....to which I say officially, "meh". They are fine cars mind you...but again they are just not "me". I will probably not own another Chevy unless it has a "sea animal" on the side if you get my drift.

    ...so the only "edgy", stylish, high-tech, flashy brand left in my eye is Cadillac. I would *not* have said this even ten years ago, but there has *definitely* been a very driven effort (if you'll pardon the pun) to reinvent the brand at its core and without a doubt the results speak for themselves. The good folks at Cadillac are clearly working hard to attract a younger, edgier, more en vogue crowd and they are pulling it off. I have *always* considered the brand respectable if for no other reason than their use of advanced technical designs all along. Now, with the advent of some hardcore "stealth-esque" styling, HUGE strides forward in high-end technology designed to make driving safer, to help drivers be more effective at the job in general, and making the whole driving experience better overall...while still picking up design cues from Europe and Asia they have truly expanded their appeal.

    It has been an odd but inspiring transformation to witness and one I have kept tabs on. Honestly, who out there would *not* have called the entire brand one that was almost exclusively in the, "Old men who wear English driving hats posed at a jaunty angle" over a decade ago? Would you have used the words, "fashionable", "competitive", or "powerful" to describe Cadillac in the 90s? I will admit that I certainly perceived the brand as meant for the retiree crowd fairly exclusively.

    So this brings the story to where I currently find myself along life's intricate path: I am a forty-something, long-hair, guitar-slinging, casual dress, family man, independent business owner, non-golfer who works pretty hard to maintain a sense of eclectic (albeit eccentric at times) taste and matching outward appearance with a certain amount of flashiness but with grace.

    Now we circle back to the meaning in the title of this thread: At no fewer than four (4) separate times I walked into the local Cadillac dealer here in Colorado and EVERY SINGLE TIME I was either given the cold shoulder outright or (even better) the entire sales staff pretty much scattered and disappeared....this is NOT a joke. This really happened...four times nonetheless. I don't know if it was the fact that I wore a t-shirt and jeans (widely considered "semi-formal" here in Colorado for folks that don't live here...it's a pretty casual place - but a few times I wore a polo too...which is *serious* in Colorado...nearly considered funeral wear) the fact that I look a little younger than I am, or have long hair (growing it for charity donation), or drove up in a Chevrolet Traverse....but nonetheless you can imagine I was pretty put off. This happened three years ago when I bought a car as well...same dealer. I left and bought the Traverse at that time.

    Now I chose these guys because they are close *and* because this was a dealer whose name I recognized from my home state of Michigan...someone I thought might "get it" because of their origins. Nope. So once again, I left empty handed.

    And here is what I did about it...Recently, we took a road trip home and while there I visited an old high school buddy who happens to be a car salesman at a Buick/GMC dealer in my home town. They have a Cadillac dealer in the same chain forty miles away. I described the situation to him as well as what I am looking to do and he gets on the horn and pulls strings and long story short two days later I buy a $72K car from him to drive home (yay...finally).

    Now...my *local* Cadillac dealer is (of course) is setup my preferred service dealership...and from my experience that is a *totally* separate side of the business so I'm not concerned; however, because I like GM, I like Cadillac, and I want to see them succeed in capturing a younger market, I would *really* like to raise this incident to the dealership in a constructive way...not by pointing fingers at people mind you but rather by raising what is wrong with the "system." Clearly, this sales staff hasn't gotten the "TPS report memo" yet that new, younger, edgier buyers may be coming in the door and if you fail to speak with them you may miss the point of what your brand designers are trying to do here.

    So all that said, what is the best approach? Rubbing their noses in it is immature and won't get results. Talking to the sales manager will probably get a line or two at next Monday's sales out brief. Store/franchise/branch owner...more of the same. Would it be overkill to raise it directly to the Executives in Marketing at Cadillac proper? Frankly I know the staff peruses this forum and I am sort of hoping they will take this story to them. A fundamental "re-education opportunity" seems in order. For those who are open, they can succeed...for sales reps who refuse to look for anyone who isn't clearly a WASP wearing Bermudas and/or a golf hat...well, you get my drift.

    Questions/Comments/Criticisms Welcomed and Encouraged...


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  3. #2
    2manyhotrods's Avatar
    2manyhotrods is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1999 Eldorado ETC coupe.
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    I would love to hear the other side of this story, directly from the dealership in your local area.
    There's more to this story than you're letting on to us.

  4. #3
    TulsaVic is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): '08 DTS Performance (gone)
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Harrison, ME

    Re: "The Dumbest Dealer in the West" -or "How *not* to sell a Cadillac"

    Had a similar incident several years ago at a Ford/Lincoln dealership. I was living in France and anticipated a return to the U.S. in a couple of months. Wearing jeans and casual shirt, I drove up to the dealership in a Nissan rental car. I was looking at their Mark XX (whatever the latest couple designation was). The salesman didn't ignore me. He didn't want me to touch the car in the showroom, stopping short of telling me to get lost. I ended up buying a Riviera and made sure to stop by the place (got attention that time) to point out that I really wanted to buy the Mark, but got the impression they didn't want to sell one that day.

  5. #4
    kipsts is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2013XTS Platinum, prior: 92,95,97,00,02,and 2005 STS
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Las Vegas

    Re: "The Dumbest Dealer in the West" -or "How *not* to sell a Cadillac"

    I would call and ask for the owner and then suggest you would like to meet briefly with him and the GM together to discuss your sales experience. If that fails the next step I would take is to locate and contact the Region Market manager. You should be able to get that name from corporate or from one of the GM Customer Support individuals who monitor and comment on this forum. Best of luck. In the interim enjoy your XTS

  6. #5
    BlackPlatinumV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Thread Starter
    Hi Gang,

    Based on some local information I have been able to glean, I am planning to strike up a relationship with an alternate dealer in the area which is a slightly farther drive but about whom I have heard nothing but positive feedback. It so happens we bought our H2 from them a few years back and I recall it was a good experience so hoping for more of the same. We have also heard from folks we know who eventually bought from this alternate dealer that the original one with whom we have had problems put them out of their comfort zone as well for similar reasons that we felt a distinct, "cold shoulder" so maybe they just are conceited or something...which given the section of town they are in sort of makes sense.

    I expect things will be more to our liking with this other local Cadillac dealer.

    SIDE NOTE: I got one personal message from an individual asking if the problem dealer is Rickenbaugh; however, I apparently do not yet have enough posting collateral to respond via PM. I choose not call out the problem dealer publicly because as I said above I really want to see Cadillac succeed in what they are trying to do and everyone deserves a chance to improve. I *will* say that Rickenbaugh is *not* the problem dealer and that they are actually the group we have found comes highly recommended from multiple sources (and with whom we had a good experience with a different brand in the past).

    Thanks again for the input.


  7. #6
    tzydzy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Re: "The Dumbest Dealer in the West" -or "How *not* to sell a Cadillac"

    I guess my Ohio Cadillac dealer was progressive years ago when I arrived in jeans and a T shirt, was gven a Seville to test drive and take home overnight as the sales manager was not there to approve my offer. I paid a deposit with a credit card and came back the next day with a check for the full price of my offer, which they accepted. I wasn't dressed like or aged like the typical (age 60+ ) Cadillac driver at that time.

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